National is proposing regional transport authorities for both Wellington and Canterbury.

The idea is part of the party's transport discussion document released today. Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges has promised National will be "the party of infrastructure" if it wins power in next year's election.

The authorities would operate along the lines of Auckland Transport, but potentially with more accountability following growing frustrations by Aucklanders at the behaviour of council controlled organisations, and AT in particular.

To do this the party is also considering the idea of a performance auditor, a body run by the council, to demand accountability from AT.

The idea for a regional transport authority has previously been called a show of no confidence in Greater Wellington Regional Council's ability to deliver transport measures.


Auckland Transport offers free rides to celebrate 100 million public transport trips
Premium - Auckland Transport spent $12,000 of ratepayer money on influencers in past year
Mike Hosking: Auckland Transport is dangerous, inept and out of control
Free public transport today: Four things to do around Auckland

"The bus fiasco in Wellington has indicated that the shared responsibility and the divided responsibility and accountability lines has not really worked," National's transport spokesperson Chris Bishop said.

"The city council blaming the regional council, the regional council blaming the city council and when that kind of expired they all put up their hands and blamed the New Zealand Transport Agency, and that's just not tenable."

It's not the first time the idea has been mooted for the capital following the tumultuous bus fiasco.
Former mayor Justin Lester tested the waters in the lead up to the campaign trail.

"I think everyone would agree the current transport model is not perfect, it's far from perfect, and we've seen that with the rollout of the bus changes over the course of the last year.

"It's also been very frustrating as mayor when you've got a whole lot of people relying on public transport, but you've got no direct involvement in the running of the bus services, only the ability to advocate."

Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Daran Ponter called for caution around the reasons for pursuing an authority.

The bus fiasco itself did not warrant the change, he said.


"It's very easy to make mileage out of the very unfortunate situation the Wellington region found itself in relation to the new bus system last year- that system has largely come right."

Ponter said to some extent it didn't matter how the deck chairs were rearranged.

"Providing a single authority is not fundamentally going to get away from the fact that transport is a difficult area to provide for, there are many trade-offs to make."

AT had similar issues to Wellington around finding bus drivers and balancing demand and supply across the network, Ponter said.

He acknowledged the public was right to be sceptical of the regional council's ability to deliver in the wake of the past 18 months, but said the reality was it managed many other projects on behalf of the community well.

"We will rebuild trust in terms of how we manage public transport."